Your brother is here, safe and whole and alive. He’s so beautiful, I find I can spend hours just watching the tiny flickers of expression that cross his face while he sleeps. It’s overwhelming. He was born on October 29th, all 8 lbs 9 oz of him. It was a very difficult labor and birth, but I’ve been recovering very well–we even left the hospital a day early (which, after a cesarean, is pretty impressive I guess? People sure are shocked anyway).

Having him here is hard but joyous; the lack of sleep sometimes gets to one or the other of us (mostly around the time we’re trading off naps). The hardest part for me though is that I obsessively check his breathing while he sleeps. I think more than is normal for a fretful new parent; I find myself leaping up to check him every few minutes when he’s sleeping. The only time I can let down and sleep is when Daddy is awake with him. As long as someone is standing guard I can relax.

I am hoping I can learn to trust that he will really stay now that he’s here…he’s been perfectly healthy so there’s no reason to worry so very much. It’s me, I know; I know what it was like losing you, and I can’t imagine how I’d survive if something happened to him too. The panic level overall has gone down now that I can check his breathing, at least there’s that.

And, contrary to what people told me–although the sleep deprivation is very hard, it is actually NOT harder having him on the outside than on the inside. I feel healthier now (even though I suspect I might be catching a cold) than I did through the entire pregnancy. I think that’s why the recovery seems so easy; yes, there’s pain around the incision and I’m sore and exhausted, but I can take painkillers for that. I’m not nauseous, my entire body doesn’t ache, and I can stand and walk without awful pain in my hips and back. And I can buy moment after moment free of fear for him by watching that little chest rise and fall.